OTTAWA -- An Ottawa man is recovering at home after a stay in the Intensive Care Unit with COVID-19.

43-year-old Darren Campbell says he was placed on oxygen before being moved into the ICU at the Queensway Carleton Hospital.

“It almost killed me and I’m a 43-year-old man who has no history of lung problems or anything like that,” said Campbell.

Campbell was feeling unwell during a trip to Dominican Republic with his wife and two children that began on March 10. He says he started experiencing a fever and chills while on vacation and was given antibiotics by doctors there.

When the family returned home to Ottawa days later, Campbell developed a cough and was no longer able to get out of bed.

He went to the hospital where he was treated for pneumonia. Campbell says days later his test came back positive for the novel coronavirus.

“I thought there is a chance I will not survive this.”

While in hospital Campbell says he was given high-flow oxygen while in the ICU.

“They put me into what they call the COVID floor and at that point I was put on oxygen and that is when things king of went from bad to worse,” said Campbell.  

His wife Leah and his two young children were placed in isolation at home. The couple was only able to connect on FaceTime.

“I couldn’t help but think this was this going to be me, was I going to be a widow at 38-years-old with two little kids,” said Leah.

Darren Campbell spent nine days in hospital before he was able to return home. He is no longer contagious but is still isolating at home.

Campbell and his wife say they are normally a private couple but are sharing their story in hopes of encouraging others to take this virus seriously.

“This whole ordeal has changed my life in ways I could have never imagined,” Campbell said in a video he posted on Facebook.

He says he had no underlying health conditions and was very active before this.

“If this can do this and bring me to my knees – that can do this to anyone,” said Campbell.

“If this helps one person take this seriously then I’ll do it and I’ll share my story, and I hope that it helps people.”